Dear Sen. McCain:
Barack Obama obviously doesn’t have your military experience. And he’s not dumb enough to pose for pictures in a tank. But why do you continue to mock his warnings to Pakistan about harboring al-Qaeda terrorists?
You say that a leader shouldn’t “telegraph” their intentions, that he or she should keep it a secret. If Pakistan is being mean to us, are you going to whisper “Cut it out! Stop it!” in the Pakistani leader’s ear?
Here’s a snippet from the official CNN transcript of the second presidential debate:
Question: Should the United States respect Pakistani sovereignty and not pursue al Qaeda terrorists who maintain bases there, or should we ignore their borders and pursue our enemies like we did in Cambodia during the Vietnam War?
Obama: “I do believe that we have to change our policies with Pakistan. We can’t coddle, as we did, a dictator, give him billions of dollars and then he’s making peace treaties with the Taliban and militants.
What I’ve said is we’re going to encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our nonmilitary aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants.
And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden; we will crush Al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.”
McCain: “You know, my hero is a guy named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt used to say walk softly — talk softly, but carry a big stick. Sen. Obama likes to talk loudly.
In fact, he said he wants to announce that he’s going to attack Pakistan. Remarkable… When you announce that you’re going to launch an attack into another country, it’s pretty obvious that you have the effect that it had in Pakistan: It turns public opinion against us.”
Sen. McCain, Pakistani public opinion was SO not pro-America before 9/11, which is why they were harboring the Taliban in the first place. And in the early days, it seemed like the only American who seemed pissed at how the Taliban treated women was Jay Leno’s wife, Mavis.
Also, everytime you call Obama trigger happy, he’s gonna come back at ya with the “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Iran!” song you sang to the tune of the Beach Boys (channeling Ronald Reagan’s joke about bombing the Soviet Union). Head down this road during the third debate and you’re destined to lose the same debate points you lost in the first two.
Obama: “Nobody called for the invasion of Pakistan. Sen. McCain continues to repeat this.
What I said was the same thing that the audience here today heard me say, which is, if Pakistan is unable or unwilling to hunt down bin Laden and take him out, then we should… Now, Sen. McCain suggests that somehow, you know, I’m green behind the ears and, you know, I’m just spouting off, and he’s somber and responsible.
Sen. McCain, this is the guy who sang, “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don’t think is an example of “speaking softly.”
As for the unpleasant issue of using military force within the borders of a “friendly” nation, both Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama need to study the Jennifer Garner precedent set in 2007.
In the action suspense thriller, “The Kingdom,” Garner and Jamie Foxx lead a commando team that goes deep into the “friendly” nation of Saudi Arabia.
Garner takes on some of the world’s meanest terrorists and still looks fantastic on the red carpet at night.
According to People magazine, Ms. Garner is a “witty, clever” advocate for Obama. Perhaps she could also help beef up his national security street cred.